Good morning, and we are back!
I have been telling you all about how B Block is better than A, but today I have got the very pearl of Block A, in fact the black pearl of New Japan and that means pro wrestling overall, Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki for you. Let’s see if anybody catches Tanahashi and get to it at Fukuoka Citizen Gymnasium!
1. Toru Yano and Gedo vs Toa Henare and Ren Narita.
Yano pins Narita after the Young Lion runs into an exposed post. Gedo mocks Toa before and after the match.
2. Guerillas of Destiny vs Hirooki Goto and YOH
One of the most emotionally charged tag matches of G1 Climax so far, or maybe it’s just that Goto and YOH are that good and the crowd was into them. Tanga Loa suddenly reverses backslide and pins YOH with Apeshit.
3. Juice Robinson and David Finlay vs Zack Sabre Jr and Taka Michinoku
Not sure why, but Juice and David definitely come to the ring in outfits from SNL’s Dog Show. If you get that reference, I like you. Finlay and Robinson definitely wrestle like SNL characters too, at least at one point Juice obviously disregards Taka’s correct directions, just to get one punch in. Finlay stunners Taka to win. Taka introduced opening speech as Zack Sabre Time.
4. Kenny Omega and Chase Owens vs Tomohiro Ishii and SHO
Omega tried to superkick SHO, who was being held by Chase, but Ishii pulled SHO away and Kenny kicked Owens. Ishii and SHO then did a double belly to back and Ishii brainbustered Owens for the pin. Man, I could watch Omega lose every night.
5. Tetsuya Naito and Sanada vs Kota Ibushi and Yujiro Takahashi
This is how to send the crowd hot into the G1 Climax portion of the card. Sanada hits the Skull End on Yujiro, as Naito has Ibushi in Indian Death Lock for a submission win. Naito wouldn’t release the hold after the belt.
6. Michael Elgin vs Bad Luck Fale
Tanga Loa is doing intros for Fale as well. Matches like these are the reason you don’t get too many write-ups about Block A. All you usually get from these guys is slams, splashes, and whips into guardrail. A couple of power bombs at the end. Actually, this one wasn’t bad. After Elgin cleared the ring of Tanga Loa, he went to the top rope and Tama Tonga ran to ringside and nailed him with a chair to the leg. He then kept hitting Elgin with the chair, and other Tongans joined in the beatdown. Young Lions tried to save Elgin and got destroyed.
7. Togi Makabe vs Adam Page
Surprisingly, Page dominated most of this match and just when Makabe got something going, Page surprised him with his usual slingshot lariat-belly to back piledriver combo for the pin. Two matches in and not a single wrestler even in NJPW top ten.
8. Jay White vs Yoshi-Hashi
Jay White attacked Yoshi-Hashi before the belt, referencing punishing him for yesterday. After a long and even match, Jay White hit the switchblade for the pin.
9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs EVIL
Tanahashi reversed EVIL’s finish into one of his own and then hit High Fly Flow for the win. EVIL hanged with Tanahashi pretty well, which I wasn’t sure he was going to do, at all.
10. There is a 50-year old man in the world of pro wrestling, who can not only hang with the best in the world, he usually surpasses them. Let’s see what Minoru Suzuki delivers against Kazuchika Okada.
Suzuki starts thrashing Okada as soon as he gets near the ring, destroying him on the outside with chairs. Red Shoes momentarily lets Okada regain control, but Suzuki punches Okada in the gut, and it’s back to smashing everything in sight. As Okada gets close to back in the ring to stop the count-out, Suzuki nails him in the gut with a chair and another chairshot on the back. Okada runs in with one count to spare.
Suzuki locks in armbar over the top rope and sends Okada ringside with a big boot. Another 19-count, and another beat down, this time inside the ring. Okada finally stops the battery with a boot to the face and a neckbreaker. A DDT later, as Okada goes for a form of piledriver, Suzuki grabs his arm and it turns into an arm figure four on the ground. Okada puts his foot on the ropes to escape. He gets a soccer kick and a kimura turned into a double Fujiwara for the trouble. Another rope escape.
Suzuki is now laying down with the forearms, beating Okada down in the corner, but as the ref steps in, Okada nails one of his trademark low dropkicks. Suzuki up and he just laughs, well done and not enough. Okada forearms him and Suzuki laughs again, while Okada is left holding his hand. Exchange of elbows continues for 3 minutes, with Suzuki seemingly winning, but when he goes for a piledriver, Okada backdrops into a pinning attempt for a count of 2. Exchange of elbow for a kick, then Suzuki delivers a series of shoteis, but Okada whips him and here we have the most beautiful move in the world for my money, the Suzuki dropkick, graceful not only in form but in timing, as it usually comes to bring a meaningful end to a full-time brawl.
Suzuki works Okada some more and hooks on a guillotine choke. Okada picks him up and gets him on the shoulders, but Suzuki slips down and gets the sleeper, which is usually the setup for his finisher. Okada reaches for the ropes, Suzuki pulls him back. Okada’s eyes start to roll to the back of his head, but he quickly attempts a Rainmaker, which Suzuki blocks with a shotei. Suzuki applies the octopus hold, but Okada eventually counters into a Tombstone. Second Rainmaker attempt is blocked, but Okada does the sleeper instead. He tries for Suzuki’s finisher, but this ends up reversed a bunch of times, finally Okada hits it, but in a genius move, falls to the side instead of ending up on top. This results in a 2, of course. A Rainmaker. Okada goes for the second one, and Suzuki blocks it for a second, but Okada hits it after all. 1, 2, 3! As expected, but I could watch this every day.